In an extensive interview with Medical Staff Briefing, Health Care Group senior counsel Michael Callahan discusses the fine line between over-reporting and under-reporting physician discipline to the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB).

The publication reports that the issue of under/over reporting to the centralized US Department of Health and Human Services database is a constant for medical staff service professionals and hospital leaders.

"In just this last year, I have received dozens of calls from clients about the Data Bank reporting standards," Callahan said. "I don't usually get calls asking how to report somebody. Instead, they are trying to avoid a report if possible. But in several instances, they've gone overboard in submitting more reports than is required. And it is not always clear whether it is purposeful or if they simply do not understand the standards."

Michael discussed strategies and approaches to reduce the need to file NPDB reports, including establishing and following transparent reviews, policies and bylaws.

"Oftentimes, the hospital and medical staffs skip steps in the routine peer review process and instead recommend an 'investigation' or corrective action which could lead to a report if the physician decides to resign," he said.

"To report or not report to the NPDB? That is the question," Medical Staff Briefing - Volume 32, Issue 1, January 26, 2022

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